By Reason Razao | Senior Reporter
The City of Harare (CoH) is simmering with discontent over what they described as a gross unfair funding system by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA).
The local authority accused Zinara of under-allocating them only US$2 million out of US$64 million collected from motorists annually.
According to Mayor, Jacob Mafume, Harare boasts 800,000 registered vehicles, each paying a US$20 quarterly levy, translating to a whopping US$64 million annual contribution to ZINARA.
The city, according to Mafume, receives a mere US$2 million in return, a paltry 3% of what its motorists generate.
“We continue to call upon the authorities to re-look at the model which in our considered view is not working.
“We have told them that there are 800 000 cars in Harare each car pays US$20 per quarter. Harare Motorists pay US$64 million annually to Zinara and we only get US$2 million,” said Mafume.
The city has been receiving the same amount for the past two years which according to Mafume was meagre considering Zinara was also collecting fuel levy and carbon tax.
“There is a fuel levy, the bulky of fuel is used in Harare by Harare Motorists. We are getting zero from the fuel levy.
“I hasten to add that the fuel levy is paid in USD and as I have indicated Zinara has only given us Zimbabwean dollars, it is not giving us USD yet they are getting fuel levy in USD.
“They also get a carbon tax and we are not getting anything from the carbon tax. We need the carbon tax so that we get equipment to measure pollution in the air so that we can chase the polluters,” added Mafume.
The last time the council protested over the payment systems, according to Mafume, Zinara promised to engage the local authorities but never followed through on that declaration.
“We made noise, they then asked for a meeting and said they were going to meet the Mayors and change the formula but that has not happened.
“We require that that happen as a matter of urgency because we no longer have roads and part of the drainage works we are suffering from should be addressed by the money we get from Zinara.”
Harare has an estimated of 5000km of road network with 87% of the tarmac requiring urgent servicing.
“The City desires to rehabilitate 250km of road network annually for the next 5 years at an estimated annual cost of USD 250 million.
“Furthermore, the City must carry out routine maintenance of 1200 km annually at an estimated cost of US$60 million.
“For the year 2024, the City targets to rehabilitate 60 km of roads and carry out 500 km of routine maintenance with funding from ZINARA,” the Mayor said.
For 2023, the council received ZWL$11,843,204,586 from ZINARA.